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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $18.5 Million to Strengthen Workforce Training Programs in Chicago, Illinois, Through American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge

Competition Provides Once-In-A-Generation Funding to Locally Driven, Diverse Partnerships to Create and Develop Workforce Training Programs that Support Local Economies

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding an $18.5 million American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grant to Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, Chicago, Illinois, to create sustainable pipelines to good-paying jobs with a focus on communities on Chicago’s South and West sides.

The Good Jobs Chicago project will partner with local organizations to train and place individuals in four sectors critical to Chicago’s economy: healthcare, manufacturing, information technology, and transportation, distribution, and logistics.

“President Biden is committed to expanding career opportunities for more Americans to secure good-paying jobs,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This EDA investment supports ready-to-scale the projects that will significantly expand training opportunities to support Chicago’s technology, manufacturing, and healthcare industries, as well as strengthen the country’s supply chain.”

“The Good Jobs Challenge is bringing together diverse partners and local leaders to advance workforce training programs across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “Led by Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, this project supports effective, inclusive workforce programs designed to build a robust workforce on Chicago’s South and West Side that will build resiliency and ensure economic prosperity reaches all pockets of the city.”

“A strong workforce pipeline with integrated support along the way is essential for giving all Illinoisans a pathway to success,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “As industries across Illinois are rapidly growing, it’s important that our workforce not only expand, but also learn new skills for the jobs of the future. This funding will give local organizations the tools to educate workers and build a stronger future for our state. The Illinoisans served by these programs want to grow and succeed, and I’m thrilled that President Biden’s administration is partnering with our state to ensure they have the opportunity to do so.”

“Our communities are made stronger when the federal government invests in the workforce. With this funding, the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership will be able to provide valuable job training and placement for Chicago-area workers,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “I look forward to seeing more Illinoisans thrive economically through this federally-supported programming.”

“It’s long overdue that we make sure predominately Black and Brown communities on Chicago’s South and West sides get the support they need to provide more opportunities for good-paying, local jobs,” said Senator Tammy Duckworth. “When we use the American Rescue Plan to empower working families of color and share tools for economic development, we are building a more diverse, equitable and resilient Illinois.”

This grant is funded through the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. The program awarded grants to 32 worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships across the country. The $500 million program is expanding opportunities for more Americans to access and secure good-paying jobs by investing in innovative approaches to advance worker-centered, industry-led workforce training partnerships.

The 32 awardee projects were selected from a competitive pool of 509 applicants. By partnering with stakeholders such as labor unions, community colleges and industry, these projects will solve for local talent needs, increase the supply of trained workers and help workers secure jobs in 15 key industries that are essential to U.S. supply chains, global competitiveness, and regional development. Through a holistic, integrated partnership approach, these projects will provide tangible opportunities and security for American workers, focusing on serving and supporting a broad range of underserved communities and connecting workers with the training, skills, and support services needed to successfully secure a good job. For more information on the grantees, please visit our fact sheet. (PDF)

The Good Jobs Challenge is part of a suite of American Rescue Plan programs developed by EDA to equitably distribute its $3 billion allocation to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to 4 a better America by accelerating economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be more resilient to future economic shocks.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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